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New waste contract to bring changes

Published Wednesday 14 February, 2024
Last updated on Thursday 21 March, 2024

There are now less than two months to go until the new recycling and waste contract starts across Swale.

From Monday 25 March the new contract with Suez will see a fleet of brand-new vehicles collecting food waste, dry recycling, general waste and garden waste from more than 65,000 homes across the borough.

The new contract will mean some changes to the existing collections to improve their reliability and efficiency.

Most households in the borough will see the days their waste is collected change, and there will no longer be kerbside collections of textiles, batteries or small electrical items.

The council will be writing to every household in the borough to let them know what changes to expect from 25 March.

Cllr Rich Lehmann, chair of the council’s Environment Committee said:

“The existing waste contract has been in place for ten years, and the vehicles are showing their age.

“We’ve had breakdown issues affecting collections and, since the pandemic, there have been more people working from home. This has made access more difficult for some narrow roads and junctions with more cars parked on residential streets during the day.

“The routes the rounds take date back more than ten years and drivers have to negotiate more traffic, and collect from more homes, than the routes were designed for. This hasn’t helped with the reliability or resilience of the service.

“To tackle these issues, we're bringing in a fleet of brand new vehicles and redrawing the rounds so they’re more efficient and reliable.

“Unfortunately, this means most people will have a change in the days their dry recycling and waste are collected, but we’re confident this will mean a better service once the changes bed in.

“We’ll be writing to every household to let them know what their collection days will be after 25 March.

“Where the change to the new service means households have to wait longer for their general waste than normal, the letters will explain what interim arrangements there will be for them.

“We’re sure these new rounds will mean better collections in future, but we do need to ask people to be patient when the changes come in.

“This is the biggest change we've made to our recycling and waste collections for more than a decade, and realistically there will be some disruption, for which we apologise in advance.

“But we will be providing people with as much information as possible so they know what they need to do to help us make the change go as smoothly as possible.”

To check your next bin collection days, use our bin lookup tool.

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